Andy John Bradford is an award-winning singer/songwriter and an actor from the North East in England. Born in 1964 in Middlesbrough, as it turns out on the very same street as the legendary Chris Rea his family moved around a lot around the country as his father was a captain in the Church Army. His father left the Church Army and they moved to Nottingham when his dad trained to become a teacher whilst at the same time working as a milkman in order to keep a roof over his families head. After qualifying as a teacher the family once again moved, this time to the West Yorkshire town of Bradford. At this point, it was 1972 and was to be the home where the family finally settled and Andy grew up. It was Bradford where his appreciation for music came about also. His father was a big music fan, though more on the classical side and jazz it was the start of the 70s and a new style of music was about to fill Andy’s ears. Glam Rock was born and he found Rock music.
In 1974 Andy started at Daisy Hill Middle School and it was here where he found an interest in Guitar, thanks to his main mentor at this point Mr. Mac. A teacher at the school and a folk singer when he wasn’t at school. He taught Andy and his best friend who funny enough was also called Andy how to play the guitar. Andy took to this instrument quite well, enough for his mum to take the plunge and buy a more expensive guitar. The year was 1976 and the guitar was a Jumbo EKO Ranger steel-string folk guitar. It had a beautiful tone and Andy started to experiment with it and come up with his own tunes with it. It was here where he started to write his own music and his first song which turned out to be terrible was born. Called “Where is she”, it soon made the order of the scrap heap. However that same year after a boatload of dross, a real song came out of it named “Sitting Ducks” This was actually quite good and was put forward to the Schools songwriting competition where it won Andy a Songwriting merit award. Andy continued to write right through school and after leaving school sadly put the guitar down for a while as real life stepped in. However, the writing bug remained but it wasn’t until the late 80s that it started to take over again. By 1996, Andy had written quite a few and with help from his new songwriting partner Martin Dawson, they managed to record an album. The Album named “The Sentinel” was a take on the ever-changing landscape of the Yorkshire they had both grown up in and managed to get them a Folk Award for Best Local Album. That same year they appeared at the Whitby Folk Festival and the song Hero, which was written a year before won Andy Best Folk Song. As a duo, the pair also got the award for the best liver-stage act under the name of “Highway” 4 years on the trot on the Northern Club Circuit… Each time they won they won a carriage clock and each clock had their name stamped on brass on the back of the clock and each clock had the name of the pair spelled wrong in 4 different ways!!!
2001 After moving again, this time to Northern Ireland, Andy continued to write and perform as a solo artist around the Northern Irish Circuit and in this time he wrote the award-winning song “Northern Rose” Dedicated to his new bride Donna, and the song “When Hearts are Broken” and the heartbreaking song “Daddy’s Girl” dedicated to his daughter to his first marriage who now is very much once again a big part of his life. In 2011 Andy started talking with other musicians around the world and got together an array of really fine talent including the late Colin Tench (In Sweden), Marco Chiapini in Italy, Stef Flaming (In Belgium), Victor Tassone (In New York) and Andres Guitzalli (In Argentina) Together they formed the international collaboration, Andy John Bradford’s Oceans 5. They started to write and produce a new album where different styles attempted to blend, Andy being a folk musician and Colin being a Prog musician the rest having their own very unique styles but all working very well to produce an album which grew into “The Return To Mingulay” giving the band a good following around the world and world critical acclaim, placing the album amongst some as one of the most important albums ever written. An achievement that did not make any of the big egos in the band gets even more big-headed at all.
Sadly after the passing of Colin Tench, the rest of the band lost a bit of the heart and nothing else was written, however, they are all still talking together and new members are reputed to have been brought in to make a new supergroup. All that can be said at this point is “Watch this space” As a solo artist, Andy is still writing and his new single “The Gold Watch” A view once again on the changing view of the landscape through another person’s eyes, this time through the eyes of a road sweep. This is one of the songs that are going onto the new album “The Visit” set for release at the end of the year. It’s an album taking another look at old songs that Andy has written over the years, including some of those ones that never even got heard. He’ll be putting new life back into them and will also be revisiting an old Christmas song which will have a new feel to it and an addition of a choir. Bother Single and future releases are set to be released on Peacock Sunrise Records. Watch this space.
Andy John Bradford The Visit (2022) PeacockSunrise Records The Elder Statesmen (2017) Melodic Revolution Records – Digital Only Come in Number 9 – Single (2017) Melodic Revolution Records – Digital Only An Irish Lass – Single (2015) Melodic Revolution Records – Digital Only Superman Where Are You? – Single (2014) Melodic Revolution Records – Digital Only
Andy John Bradford Oceans5 The Return to Mingulay (2013) Melodic Revolution Records – CD & Digital The Mingulay Boat Song – Single (2013) Melodic Revolution Records – Digital Only Empty Hands – Single (2013) Melodic Revolution Records – Digital Only 6000 Friends – Single (2013) Melodic Revolution Records – Digital Only Join The Dance (2008) Self-released Digital Only
And BlissBliss has been in the dance together for a while now.
It was December 14th, 1969, when a vocal group from Gary, Indiana, (only a few hours from where she lived in Fort Wayne), first performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, that Reneé Garcia was hooked!
After that night, she would listen for hours to the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson as well as the Motown artists she used to love to skate to. That music shaped her world and still influences her vocal style to this day. It was a music that wove itself together with dances and she learned many of them as a little girl; The Swim, The Mashed Potato, The Twist, The Watusi.
Later on in her solo career, she became one of the first artists to introduce dance music to the Contemporary Christian Music market with 2 successful projects, Living In The Vertical and A Different World released on Reunion Records. She is considered to be one of the pioneers of popular dance music in the CCM genre. She was asked by label president Michael Blanton, to join the label as a recording artist after having sung on 4 major tours with world-renowned artist Amy Grant, who was managed by Blanton at the time. During her time in CCM, Reneé garnered a strong response in the CCM community, and made hundreds of appearances both on stage and on television, in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe. She landed seven Top 10 songs; five of them charting in the Top 5. The song “Perfection” from A Different World reached the #2 position, with the song’s video going to #1 on the video charts.
Her dance partner in life and music, began his groove many years before, learning to play drums by playing along to the radio in the basement and listening to artists as varied as Led Zeppelin, Yes, and The Ohio Players. Lang’s mother loved Classical music and played the piano all of his years growing up. His stepfather loved Swing music and played saxophone around the house in Lang’s formative music years. But it was a 1960s blue sparkle, jazz, Gretsch drum kit that set him on his way to play drums at every chance. That passion led to touring around the US, Canada, and Australia with a company based out of St. Petersburg, Florida right out of high school. He performed an average of 500 shows a year over a 4 year period with Showcase Inc. while being endorsed by Pearl Drums and Zildjian cymbals. That experience paved the way for a depth of skill on stage that ultimately led to a move to Nashville, TN, and a highly successful career, touring nationally and overseas and playing in the studio for many well-known artists in the burgeoning CCM scene including Rich Mullins, Michael W Smith, Margaret Becker, and others. He also took to songwriting and his first co-write landed a Grammy nomination for Best CCM Rock Song.
It was when he “asked Reneé for a dance” that the two decided to merge lives and careers and BlissBliss was born. They signed a songwriting deal with BMG Publishing and released their first project on REX Records. “Musically, we come from different backgrounds,” reflects Reneé, “Lang’s deepest roots were in progressive rock, and I was nurtured on Motown. Initially it seemed like an odd venture, but we began to build upon our common ground, and we’re thrilled with what our joint efforts produced.”
As one observer stated, “BlissBliss is an elixir of pop, groove, and jazz where elegance reigns supreme!”
Renee Bliss: Vocals Lang Bliss: Drums, Programing, Guitar, and Backing Vocals
Lang and Renee also brought in friends Scott Bernard (Kenny Loggins, studio) and Kurt Stowe (Juke House Saints, studio) for some special guitar parts, sax player Mark Douthit (Lionel Richie, Elton John, Amy Grant, Billy Joel, Vanessa Williams) and friend and vocalist, Irene Kelly Johnson (Bryan Duncan, studio).
“The basic tracks were cut back in March 2019 at engineer and guitar player, Mark Townsend’s (Reliant K, DC Talk, Jennifer Knapp) S-s-studio with Mark seated in the guitar and engineering chair. With Lang’s instrument of choice being drums, he covered that role. Eric Bikales (Stevie Wonder, Cher, Patti LeBelle, Tom Waits) brought his unique flavor and years of experience to keys and Zane Bliss (BlissBliss, The Juke House Saints, studio), their son, like a seasoned pro, created melodic and driving bass for the new arrangements.”
Previous Album Review Quotes
“When an artist hears their own voice and stays the course in spite of fear and lack of fame and financial payback, over the years they develop a body of work that becomes their personal narrative. BlissBliss has offered us nearly two decades of stories in song that give one a front window into their soul and heart. That is rare. That is a gift. Open it and give thanks.”
David BunkerFormer Head of A&R, REX Records
“BlissBliss’s dedication to the legacy of sophisti-pop is sure to resonate with fans of the genre, but BlissBliss is no mere revivalist act. Lang and Renee have forged a unique and polished sound with an attention to detail and a level of musicianship often missing in modern popular music.” Jake Jenkins/InSync Magazine
“BlissBliss is double the talent in one package… double groove and double heart and soul.”
(two-time Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist, vocalist, author, and National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)
“Sometimes music becomes cinema. Some people call this synesthesia when colors are heard and sounds become light and hue. That is the soundtrack of BlissBliss. These guys are on the money when it comes to tracking their inner world but have this joie de vivre that redeems the sadness, heals the wound, and offers it all up with gratitude.”
David BunkerFormer Head of A&R, REX Records
“I’ve long been a fan of BlissBliss and their brand of smooth Sophisti Pop. “I’m Coming Through” is a perfect showcase for their sultry, jazzy sensibilities, impeccable vocals, lyrical depth, and rhythmic perfection. The interplay of the signature bass line and keyboard arpeggio propel the song along in a subtle but vital way that immediately hooks you and takes you along on their journey. Great song, great sound!”
(former lead guitarist and vocalist for Prince and President/CEO of Pavilion Synergies)
“One thing I love about sophisti-pop is how meticulous so many of those bands were in the engineering of their records. To me, many of those records are just sonically untouchable, even to this day. It’s evident that BlissBliss is chasing that same level of fidelity and nailing it. Horizons have the forwardness of modern music, but (they’ve) retained the dimensionality and the space I associate with sophisti-pop albums from the ’80s and early ’90s.”
Gayle Ellett (Guitar & Keyboards): Gayle has been playing guitar for more than 45 years, he started playing back in 1973. He is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed on over 120 albums, scored music for numerous feature films and 60 different TV series worldwide, and currently plays in 9 bands. One of these bands is Djam Karet, a Progressive Rock group formed in the 1980s that has released 20 albums so far. When he’s not busy recording in the studio, he can often be found wandering the mountain trails near his home in Topanga, California. www.GayleEllett.com
Craig Kahn (Drums): Besides playing in The Electromags, Craig is recording drums for the next Kelp Dwellers album, a Surf band he is in with Gayle Ellett and their friend Todd Montgomery (Fernwood). Craig is also involved with a band consisting mostly of pediatric cardiology doctors from around the world, the BBSC, who donate all proceeds from album sales to pediatric health care. Craig spends his free time running in the mountains surrounding his home in Topanga, California.
Mark Cook (Bass): Mark is a multi-instrumentalist based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He has recorded and performed with the progressive rock bands Herd of Instinct and Spoke of Shadows, the psychedelic crew Liquid Sound Company, and the art-pop/downtempo unit Nocturne Blue. When not chained to the recording console, Mark spends time wrangling his dogs.
Friends (2023) CD & Digital – PeacockSunrise Records Shiny Side Up (2022) CD & Digital – PeacockSunrise Records
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